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What is Self-Determination?

Self-determination is a dispositional characteristic manifested as acting as the causal agent in one’s life. Self-determined people (i.e., causal agents) act in service to freely chosen goals. Self-determined actions function to enable a person to be the causal agent in his or her life.

Students who are self-determined act autonomously (make choices and decision as needed), are self-regulated (have some personal control over actions), are psychologically empowered (feel and act capable), and are self-realizing (understand the effects of their actions). Youth can begin to be self-determined by learning problem-solving and decision-making, self-advocacy and self-regulation, goal setting and attainment, and self-management techniques. Many of these components of self-determination are typical of what students are already working on in school, prior to graduation.

Developing New Measurement: Self-Determination Inventory System

We are developing an efficient and effective way to measure self-determination for all students between the ages of 13 and 22 years. The Self-Determination Inventory Student and Adult Self-Report versions will measure student self-determination for transition to adulthood for ALL students, to support learning and achievement. Now we are refining the system.

Principal Investigators include: Dr. Michael L. Wehmeyer, Dr. Karrie A. Shogren, Dr. William Skorupski at the University of Kansas and Dr. Todd D. Little, at Texas Tech University.

Funding is provided by Grant Award# R324A130065 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research to the University of Kansas.  The content of this website does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and endorsement by the Federal Government should not be assumed.

Research Opportunity: Self-Determination Inventory Assessment Project

In spring 2015 and fall 2015, we need students between 13 and 22 years with and without disabilties to respond to self-determination surveys, and teachers and/or family members to answer questions about self-determination of students.

This online survey requires computer access with internet to complete it. If you choose to participate, each participant in your school district or your college/university will be automatically, randomly placed in one of three testing pools when they log in to the survey.

Because of the large number of questions about self-determination, we will be using a planned missing arrangement so that each student will be taking a small subset of the items.

Each student will respond to 88 items taking approximately 30 minutes to complete the SDI-Self-Report measure plus demographic items.

Adult participants (teachers or parents/guardians) will complete 45 items per student, which will help us confirm student responses.

If interested please contact us:
Sheida Khamsi khamsi@ku.edu 785-864-0528

Susan B. Palmer, Ph.D. spalmer@ku.edu 785-864-0270